April 16, 2011
I have a great macaroni and cheese recipe that my mom gave me. I simply take her recipe and double the noodles and double the cheese and I have the best homemade mac and cheese around. I grew up with sisters and she could get away with a small pan of the mac and cheese. With my growing boys, the pan she made for 5 of us would feed one of them! Needless to say, I still like to tinker with other mac and cheese recipes out there and see if I can improve my moms.
So when I came upon this cookbook from the husband and wife team of food bloggers, Aki Kamozawa and Alex Talbot, I had to give their recipe a try. You can find their hugely popular blog here. Their cooking style is a combination of Mr. Wizard (the science show that I grew up on) and Alton Brown on the Food Network with a little bit of a creativity thrown in. Their cookbook is divided into two sections: Ideas For Everyone and Ideas for Professionals. I stuck with the section on the ideas for everyone….someday I will venture to the other side of the cookbook!
The Ruling: Well my family liked my moms version better. Could it be because they are creatures of habit? Or could it be that I browned the butter before adding the cheese, giving it a little smokey taste? Whatever it was, it is no fault of the cookbook authors, but entirely my own. I will fall on the wooden spoon on this one! However, it should be noted that I enjoyed it. I liked the bite that the pepper jack cheese gave as well as the crispy topping from the breadcrumbs and cheese with a smidge of butter. I did not let the pasta sit in the water for an hour…I went ahead and boiled mine.
Macaroni and Cheese, page 172
- 1 pound dried elbow macaroni
- 2 1/2 quarts water
- 8 tablespoons butter
- one can evaporated milk
- 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 10 ounces Cheddar Cheese (extra sharp, grated)
- 10 ounces Pepper Jack Cheese, grated
- 2/3 cup fresh bread crumbs
- 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Cheese
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- Put the macaroni in a large bowl and cover with the water. Let the pasta soak for an hour, stirring occasionally; then drain it and use as follows. It will finish cooking in the sauce.
- Turn the broiler on low. Butter a 3-quart baking dish.
- Put the butter , evaporated milk, salt, and cayenne in a 3-quart pot over medium heat. When the butter is melted and the milk is just steaming, slowly stir in the Cheddar and Jack cheese, handful by handful, until they are both incorporated and evenly melted. When the sauce is made, stir in the soaked macaroni and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes. The pasta will absorb some sauce and the mixture will thicken slightly.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish and spread it out evenly. In a small bowl, combine the bread crumbs and Parmigiano cheese; sprinkle them over the pasta. Drizzle with the melted butter. Put the pan on the middle rack, centered under the broiler, and broil the pasta for 5 minutes. When the topping is golden brown, remove the pasta from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.
To Joyful, Simplified Living,
MS. Simplicity, also known as Melissa Schmalenberger operates her business as I Did it with MS. Simplicity. She is a Professional Organizer based out of Fargo, ND and her website can be found at www.ididit-fargo.com . Need to contact MS. Simplicity privately, you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. For daily organizing tips find the MS. Simplicity fan page here.
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